Upper Middle Bogan begins airing this Thursday

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Drag racing will hit Australian prime time screens in a unique way this Thursday when ABC1’s new comedy drama series Upper Middle Bogan begins airing.

Upper Middle Bogan is a new eight-part series which tells the story of two families living at opposite ends of the freeway.

Sensing she was different her whole life, Bess Denyar (Annie Maynard), a doctor with a highbrow mother, Margaret (Robyn Nevin), an architect husband, Danny (Patrick Brammall) and twin 13 year olds at a private school, finds out she is adopted and is stunned. Even more so when she meets her birth parents, Wayne (Glenn Robbins) and Julie Wheeler (Robyn Malcolm).

If that’s not enough to digest, Bess also discovers she has siblings, Amber (Michala Banas), Kayne (Rhys Mitchell) and Brianna (Madeleine Jevic).

In the first episode Bess discovers she’s adopted and she’s shocked to find her birth parents head up a drag racing team in the outer suburbs.

Extensively involved during production was ANDRA Top Fuel champion Darren Morgan, who provided all of his team’s infrastructure during filming and also contributed much of the look and feel for the “Wheeler Racing” team featured throughout.

Morgan said the clash of cultures between a motorsport team and a camera crew was interesting to deal with, especially when it came to capturing an actual run made by the team.

“It was a lot of fun and we had a really good time being involved,” he said. “Filming is a lot of sitting around and waiting which I am not very good at, sometimes it was 50 shots to get one thing right, but we had to get across to them that there was one shot getting it right while it was on the track.”

While eagle eyed drag racing viewers may pick up the majority of the track scenes being filmed at Calder Park (which hosts its first Top Fuel championship round since 2001 this October), the series fills in the gaps with plenty of ANDRA footage from drag strips around the country.

Morgan said the team was able to suggest some little touches to the show that add drag racing realism, like team members backing up the car or actor Glenn Robbins giving the signal to start the burnout.

After feeling a Top Fuel car launch, Morgan said the film crew were gobsmacked.

“All of the crew want to come and see the real thing now,” he said. “When we went to the launch night, a lot of those people have never seen these things and they all said it was a beautiful car.

“They are in awe of the size of it and blown away by the whole picture.”

Upper Middle Bogan airs at 8.30pm weekly from this Thursday on ABC1.


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